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Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey
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Denver Event - 2013 - Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey

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  • 1. Floodlight and Data Engine User Survey Findings, Analysis and Recommendations produced for The Denver Foundation The Piton Foundation 25 September 2012 Table of Contents Report framework Author Source Methodology Survey sample size Survey sample Crosstabs performed on data Tools A. Executive summary
  • 2. B. Data Engine analysis C. Floodlight analysis D. Recommendations for follow up study E. Qualtrics Report
  • 3. Report framework The goal of this report is to provide a snapshot of self-identified user needs, capacities and obstacles regarding effective storytelling and/or data use by a broad base of nonprofit organizations, public sector groups, social sector academics, foundation grantees and journalists. These findings will inform customer development strategies to promote demand and long-term product engagement for Floodlight and Data Engine. Author Wendy Norris, Tekhne Media, Inc. Methodology Survey sample size 530 total respondents completed 339 self-reported surveys representing 313 organizations between 8/8 - 9/15/2012 resulting in a 64 percent completion rate. Survey sample Denver Foundation and Piton Foundation grantees, Colorado Nonprofit Association members, Colorado- based journalists and Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships newsletter subscribers. Crosstabs performed on data Story importance vs Story skill Data importance vs Data skill Story importance vs Staffing Data importance vs Staffing Organizational focus vs Data access experience Story skill vs Data skill Tools Qualtrics online survey software, Qualtrics survey analysis tools, cross tabulation analysis, and Google spreadsheet software.
  • 4. Executive summary Public sector staff member on the key challenges of using data Denver-based health care organization CEO on the key challenges for storytelling
  • 5. Data Engine Findings and Analysis Key challenges Time is the primary concern for prospective Data Engine users, irrespective of their self- reported competency in working with data or making evidence-based decisions. The perceived lack of time to devote to collecting, finding and analyzing data was mentioned more than 80 times by the 339 respondents. Next, and not unexpected, was the issue of organizational capacity for a significant number of groups that report difficulty collecting internal and external data sources, and synthesizing the information into a useable product. Forty percent of survey respondents reported not being skilled at community data collection. Cross-tabs Why look at crosstabs? Crosstabulated data is useful for showing a side by side comparison of two or more survey questions to determine how they are interrelated. Data importance vs Data skill
  • 6. Data importance vs Staffing Other: Primarily noted shared staff responsibility or individual staff member working on the data project.
  • 7. Organizational focus vs Data access experience
  • 8. Story skill vs Data skill
  • 9. Obstacles Time, staffing and resources Turf wars Access to and lack of trust in local data (relevancy, timeliness, methodology, multiple data collection systems) Making accurate/relevant comparisons
  • 10. Floodlight Findings and Analysis Key challenges Cross-tabs Why look at crosstabs? Story importance vs Story skill
  • 11. Story importance vs Staffing
  • 12. Story skill vs Data skill
  • 13. Obstacles Time, staffing and resources Confidentiality Contextualizing, finding trends Nonprofit fatigue, lack of trust in community Concerns about objectifying story subjects
  • 14. Demographics
  • 15. survey respondents by location
  • 16. Follow up recommendations
  • 17. Survey raw data Responses: What is the key challenge your organization is facing currently in terms of local data and/or storytelling? A lack of understanding about how critical data impacts storytelling. A lot of data is not current and hard to find. Access Access to current data Accessibility to real-time data; reconciling conflicting data from different sources, ensuring that comparison of data is measuring "like" stats / --understanding the impact of storytelling on the community, balancing sharing of hard data and heartwarming. Accessing data in the right format (raw, and with longitudinal and cross-sectional dimensions to provide context). I.e. we can get a number, but we have a hard time providing points of comparison (time, benchmarking) and transforming those data into performance metrics and other meaningful gauges. Accessing relevant and updated data specific to our programs to use in our storytelling. Accessing the data on a level that is relevant ... with the stipulation that it is health data, so usually those numbers are known Accessing the stories. accurate data Analyzing data is super difficult and time consuming. Moreover, for collecting data we need to work with computer scientists sometimes! Analyzing internal data, assessing external data to determine new markets for our products. Conduits for meaningful storytelling (social media is too short-lived, print media is going away, etc.). Acquiring data that is reliable As a primary data source for public health data, our key challenge is eliciting both the specific data needs from customers as well as the context in which to best provide/present data. As far as I know, there isn't a core place or list of places from which we can get local data. The sources we use vary for each project area and need. At times the local data doesn't exist. awareness is a challenge for everyone Because we don't provide direct services our challenge is how to tell the story in a compelling way. Best choice of story telling media, i.e. facebook, website, print, etc. budget constraints Capacity building. I need to help formalize and sharpen these skills in my staff.
  • 18. Centralization of process and understanding what data needs to be mined. centralizing data from multiple sources to create community dashboard. Very time-consuming to track down both internal and external data sets CIVHC is a statewide convener to improve health, health care and lower costs for Coloradans. We work with organizations that are struggling to get data to make meaningful conclusions about how their initiatives are working and trying to help them with the resources they need in order to analyze their data. collecting enough high quality data to make decisions and communicating the results of those data collection and interpretation efforts to the public in a way that makes sense Collecting information and telling our story is expensive. Money Collecting stories in a central place, and in a common method. For data, we don't necessarily know what data is out there that could be helpful to us. Communicating with (hearing from and speaking to) those who need our program but don't think about us, and who are invisible to us. Finding them! Also, it will be increasingly interesting and worthwhile to get an accurate picture of the segment of the area population over the age of 60 (and over the age of 75) who are aging well (fit, healthy, able to give and volunteer) compared to those who are struggling with issue of aging (physically, emotionally, mentally) and who perceive themselves as "needy." Complex organization with differing political views (our governing body is a board elected by citizens), timeliness given the need to involve community relations staff outside the immediate department, competing priorities of a large agency. connecting ECE quality to child outcomes Connecting quantitative data with stories that inspire and motivate people. Connecting the two without breaching confidentiality Connecting to the data to tell our story. Consistency and targeting of messaging. context is so important in making any story make sense or stick. history and data are not always enough. the real question is what problem are we trying to solve and how did we get here continuing to access all of the existing data that are available FOR OUR 5 NEIGHBORHOODS, so that we have data that reflects the specific situations our communities face...while not duplicating any collection or analysis... We are a very small organization so we need to find and use all that already exists. Finding data that drill down to the neighborhoods is tough. Continuity in how local data is reported. Internal capacity to gather/analyze data and how it relates to Denver Kids. Challenge in storytelling is not relying on a "single story" or painting our students as limited but rather they come from environments that are sometimes limiting, i.e. how do you paint the picture of the challenges our students face in a dignified way without objectifying them? Cost of good external data current and Relevant data current stories - reflecting changes in current programs. Keeping web sites and information current and fluid. cuts in funding do not reflect decrease in need for services, refugee support has remained static while costs have gone up, many refugees are successful but that is not the general perception
  • 19. Data collection is immense for our organization and programs. We have multiple database systems that we must enter programmatic data into based on the national evidence-based models that we work with, as well as funder-driven data systems, etc. So, the data challenge for us is navigating multiple systems, not needing more data or more systems. We are challenged with telling the "pull at the heart strings" stories because our work is so incredibly data driven. We tend to talk data much more than anecdotal stories. Data is a little outdated at times. Drilling down to specifics can be tedious. As a large agency we have a lot of stories and utilize this mode pretty well. data is constantly changing; ensuring that our data is current, accurate and relevant to the community. Data is outdated, difficult to learn how to export and analyze. Data is sometimes old and the interface to obtain the data can be difficult. data must be compiled from a variety of sources Data not collected, not collected correctly, data lumped together, this makes storytelling complex, confusing and doesn't present a clear picture data on the same factor does not reconcile with the resources searched to gather local data. Data on the county is not easily accessible and for some areas, especially for areas that are very close to Denver county and Aurora County, it is close to impossible to gather data, have data available to analyze much less to truly identify needs and plan accordingly to meet those needs. Data quality and accuracy. Lack of staff at local as well as our organization. Tendency to overburden our members with requests and thus increasing their workload. An organizational structure that is cautious, hierarchical and reactionary. Data sharing agreements Decreased revenue, increased expectations and workload levels, and not enough staff to get the work completed. Denial of the disease and its issues Designating a central point for data - one position or department - so that data across the City can be consistent / Don't really know what storytelling is and how it is used Determining the data needed and finding the right data. Knowing how and when to do storytelling and where to publish the stories determining appropriate data to collect and use / finding that data / putting it in our context / framing the story / telling the story...and to what end Determining what neighbors want in our neighborhood and informing them of changes. Developing a broader base for information dissemination Discriminating what's important to relevant questions affecting community interests and what is in the best interest in putting kids first. Don't know where to get the data, and lack of time. drawing the parallels between the numbers and the human aspect Due the size and demographics of Elbert County, we have a difficult time telling our story because a great majority of our data is regional rather than county specific. Easy access to local data sources--no readily available data banks Figuring out the right avenue to use to tell the story. Figuring out what are critical pieces of information when there is so much to sift through
  • 20. Financing. Finding accurate data that provides information regarding our numerous different programs. Many of our programs change year to year so it's hard to see the trends and retrieve data regarding them. Finding and accessing the data Finding competent people to maintain the data currently collected. Finding current statistics finding data to support need for services provided Finding enough data related our organization. Finding people that are willing to have their stories told. Finding people who exemplify a trend. Complex topics on the radio, like housing economics or energy pollution, need characters and a story in order for listeners to follow along. Radio's power is in how it uses voice and scenes to bring detailed reporting to life. Especially the NPR style. Its weakness is an absence of visuals, and its relentless pace. Listeners don't have the luxury of graphs and tables, or to stop and scan the article if they get lost. Though, honestly, finding and working with the data in the first place is arguably the tallest hurdle. Finding places to tell the stories and engage the public to take action as volunteers, donors or technical assistance. Finding relevant data and effectively interpreting that data to flesh out compelling stories Finding the right audience FInding the right community animators/motivators to help put our stories/importance of our data collection on a larger stage (i.e., not just in front of our regular audiences), identifying new audiences and organizations/companies that could benefit from our data and stories. finding the right data (finding accurate data) and finding places for storytelling Finding the right venues and methods (in person, on the Web...) for stories to be told. Finding the time to collect data. FInding the time to develop the story and finding the skilled personnel to put the story together finding the tools (eg for youtube, other video, live review recordings, etc) and processes to collect stories from our clinical teams to connect with pts and grateful families within HIPAA and respecting their sensitive emotional time. We abound in rich stories but don't know well how to capture and convey them to comfort and inspire others. Finding ways to value the story, that is helping funders or elected officials understand that the storytelling aspect is as important as the numbers. Less value attached to the narrative aspects. For storytelling it is getting the stories from the organizations. They don't always know what makes a compelling story and sharing a story is not always as important as mission-specific work done on a daily basis. Fragmentation. Rep Fields sees a city totally different than the residents she describes. Likewise, the facets I see are totally foreign to her. Every activist in Aurora sees the problem differently and no one has access to real data to bring together to solve problems. Storytelling is irrelevant without facts first. Frustrating the lack of data within DPS that is available to the public to measure impact of grants Funding to support data collection; acceptance of 'storytelling' in the research community; questions of rigor and validity in small scale local data
  • 21. Funds to pay a professional to conduct qualitative interviews and then write a professional article Gathering data for ECE purposes on the section of the community that is not enrolled in any formal programming. gathering data quickly enough Getting a more representative sense of what is happening in the community, in a number of areas, education, health, economics, etc... rather than just client success stories or general statistics of need. Poignant, representative stories of needs and successes that are geographically and culturally relevant are difficult to locate most of the time. Similarly, stories of processes, so over time, in a certain neighborhood and programmatic domain how are things changing and developing. Getting current stories & keeping up with program alum. Getting currently accurate data. Getting diverse accounts of what is going on and sustaining these accounts and involving fresh stories Getting folks to be an audience, and feeling safe at our site getting good, recent data - getting data at the block level vs regional getting data on "unusual" topics - health for example = mapping data easily Getting information to the people who are affected by the information and receiving a reply. I am not sure I understand the concept of storytelling but if it is to put together information and sharing the information it is getting the story in a short and complete format so people will take the time to read it. Getting our story out to the community of the services/benefit we provide to seniors including medical foot care and homemakers that assists seniors to remain in their homes. Getting professional & independent analysis. Getting that information to those who need to know and understand it's importance Getting the information out there. We have a stories to tell, but getting interest in our stories heard and understood by policy makers and the media is difficult. Getting the most recent information and relating it to our program services. Getting up-to-date data Getting various city and county agencies to share their data. We could tell a great story, if we had access to their data. Has to be anonymous. Having a large enough of an audience to impact and tell our story to Having accurate data that can be relied upon. Having accurate information that really paints a picture of the current state of the community. Can't just easily access that information when needed Having enough people as an audience at any given time Having good statewide data on the LGBT community. Implementing ONE data collection system for the entire organization. Unfortunately different programs use different systems. Having someone to tell our story to. Having staff capacity at a time when fundraising has become much more difficult to do the research and writing that is needed. having the budget and staffing to cover it
  • 22. Having the staff capacity, time and financial resources to do both in an effective manner Having the staff to do the data collection! How do we compete when there are so many "emergencies" -- fires, shootings, etc. that are drawing on funds that would otherwise be available to NPOs? How to engage local news agencies and get them as invested in the story as we are. I am unsure at this time. I believe that the key challenge that our organization faces is that occasionally the data available is not the most recent data collected, so the storytelling could be more accurate and reflective of the community. I don't often trust the sources of local data. I question where it comes from, who extracts it and how. HMIS is a good example. The data isn't accessible and the people who assemble it have a stake in the game so it doesn't feel objective. The annual point in time survey has good data, but is constantly put out in the community with a "spin," depending on the politics at the time. I don't think I'm the one to answer this survey, after all. I use data to conduct research and am not an administrator in our organization. I think a key challenge is that there are so many people at GSSW working on different projects and often using similar sources. i think people are impatient with storytelling for real purposes and where it could be so useful, they prefer numbers--especially when it comes to our own data on our own programs and students. I think our biggest data needs in urban areas have to do with public education and education related data. Also to a lesser extent data on communities being served by organizations we tend to support. Education data becoming more readily available, almost to the point that it is a challenge to figure out what matters most in all of the numbers. I think that data and storytelling can be two ends of a continuum sometimes - you need data/evidence but sometimes that kills the individual case study - the story that pulls on your heartstrings. Sometimes numbers and heartstrings don't interact. Pictures and real life pulls at heartstrings. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "local data," so I can't answer this question. I'm not sure what you mean exactly by "storytelling". Is this social media, stories in the field, employee stories, client, news?? Nonprofits, especially in the same industries are competing for some of the same resources therefore "sharing" can be very difficult as well as making inroads with the people who are the decision-makers. I'm assuming this is a confidential survey...I'm being very frank because I would be so grateful to have data from different aspects, perspectives, economics, etc... In terms of data, it's making sure we can locate the type of data we need. As far as storytelling, keeping up on Dialogic Reading methods to ensure our teachers are supporting literacy development at the preschool level. Individual expertise and knowledge in some of the work we are asked to do. Our work focus and priorities changes, and both executive and staff often have to discover and learn quickly. interest from the public, funding on events It is difficult to find the most relevant set of contextualized data to tell a compelling story. And more challenges arise when using that story (or a new story if necessary) and tailoring it to the needs of a specific audience.
  • 23. IT IS HARD TO ACCESS ACCURATE DATA ABOUT NEEDS; EVEN HARDER TO ACCESS DATA ABOUT HOW THESE NEEDS ARE ACTUALLY BEING SERVED. FOR INSTANCE, THERE IS ANECDOTAL DATA (STORIES) ABOUT THE INEFFICIENCIES OF THE FOOD STAMP PROCESS. MUCH OF THE DATA IS PROTECTED ONE EXPECTS BECAUSE OF TURF AS MUCH AS REGULATION. BUT WHEN ONE TRIES TO VISIT AND VALIDATE SERVICE THERE IS LITTLE UNDERSTANDING OF WHY AN OUTSIDER IS INTERESTED. I HAVE SERIOUS DOUBTS THAT SUCH DATA WILL EVER BE SHARED. FOR INSTANCE, THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF OVERSERVING IN LIQUOR ESTABLISHMENTS, BUT NO ENFORCEMENT EXCEPT ARRESTING THOSE WHO ARE OVERSERVED. IF YOU WANT MORE EXAMPLES, CALL ME I DOUBT YOU CAN BE EFFECTIVE IN OVERCOMING TURF. It is hard to get a complete picture of the landscape, in terms of understanding who's doing what (funders and grantees), and what the disaggregated and aggregated outcomes are. It is often hard to find the data we need and then takes time to sort through the data. It's hard to tell stories about kids without doing a composite to protect a child's privacy. Also, we are sometimes one step removed so collecting the stories through our partners can be difficult. just has not been a focus in our organization Keeping local data current Keeping up with family addresses--high mobility Knowing what data and stories to present to which kinds of people. We need to appeal to three different kinds of people - students, parents/teachers, donors/sponsors. Each group is interested in different aspects of our organization, data, and stories. Knowing what to collect to appease funders and also help us to share our stories to engage local partners. Knowing where to go. Lack of classes offering writing skills labor intensiveness of collecting stories. lack of a story bank lack of human resources committed to those tasks Lack of inexpensive software Lack of knowledge and resources Lack of knowledge/computer savvy / Inefficient database Lack of staff and funding Lack of staff, time, money. lack of time Lack of time/resources. Liability, maintanance issues, and misuse of data. Linking the data to real lives / Local data - not easy to glean local data from national sources. Don't have easy, known location for comprehensive local data. For example, we often have to go to every individual school district to get some reasonable data about their students served. Another district reports a different set of data, so it's hard to compare or aggregate data. Would love common data being kept in a known location or have a source to help point us where specific types of data are maintained and available. Local data for four states - to put the need of grantees in context
  • 24. Local Data: Up-to-date data is not available on regular basis. Customizable reports are not available. Storytelling: Lack of the right technology and skills to launch a storytelling program in the clinics. Local information gathering with a very small staff and faculty who have multiple responsibilities. Local records/stats are harder to come by than state/national figures. Storytelling isn't a challenge, but as a newspaper it's just not as valued as accurate journalism. Locating local data in a timely manner and from the correct source when in a time crunch. Using our really wonderful stories in a way that touches people and moves them to action on behalf of our organization. Longitudinal data lots of statewide data, but not a lot of Northern Colorado data related to unemployment rates, youth employment, etc.. Making sure that the data and storytelling that our faculty and students gather are truly community-based and find their way back to the community from which they originate. Making the case for affordable housing, community services, and other public amenities should be located near transit. What are the economic benefits (city services, infrastructure savings, etc.)? What are the social and environmental benefits (increased transit ridership, decrease in VMT/GHG, better health outcomes, etc) and how do those translate to dollars? Making the data live the story, or in other words, making the people and community real through the data. Making the numbers meaningful to the community. Linking the numbers to the work -- strategies and qualitative data. Helping some community partners and families understand the data. Getting local data on more specific populations (ie: 0-3 or 0-5). Not having access to cross- reference certain data points Manpower Manpower to tell the story, time to research to get the data and to craft the story. Many of the organizations are not familiar with Colorado open record laws, and a few judges have gone against precedence to rule against releasing information to the Durango Herald. Most of our good data sources are national, there is very little state or local data that is collected about our population or that is relevant to our population. The little data that exists is often corrupted or inaccurate. In terms of storytelling our problem is the large cultural gap between our community and the rest of the world and creating stories that others can understand. Most of our work is not a direct service to children or families, which makes it hard for us to appeal to the public on an emotional level. Most relevant and up to date Multiple audiences need a redesign in the types of data collected and user -friendly retrieval need to develop an evaluation model for the organization. None none None that I can think of. For local data and storytelling, we typically collect the data ourselves. I'm not aware of resources that provide that information. Not all staff are gifted storytellers or recognize opportunities to share information through stories.
  • 25. Not enough financial resources to collect and disseminate the data in terms of manpower. Not enough human resources to compile and organize. Not enough locally specific (neighborhood or municipal level) data re health and behaviors. Not enough time. not sure not sure obtaining up to date information to help make final grant decisions and to see where we can collaborate with other funders Organizing and coherence Our challenge is finding the funding to put our presenters out in the public to share their stories. Our "In Our Own Voice" presentations are a very effective means to tell stories about people living with mental illnesses; we just lack the resources to provide them to everyone that wants one. Our challenges are twofold. First, we need to develop the skills to tell compelling stories about our work and the impact we are making. Secondly, while we can describe the need in great detail, we have to honor client confidentiality when we are describing impact. This is particularly challenging and we need to learn some effective methods of balancing these issues. Our constituency is mostly low-income women, especially women of color, and being able to quickly get in touch with members can be a challenge (for example, when we want to share a story with the media and have a tight timeline). We are also limited by our staff resources, which limits how many people we can work with to share stories with our organization and with the media. Same with collecting data - we do this mostly through 1:1 interactions (in person, phone calls), and we're limited by staff time. Our efforts are only as refined as the data available to us. It can be challenging to find public data that directly correlates to Museum goals, our audience and to the needs of that audience. We work with what we can find. We have spent the last two years conducting our own data collection efforts through both internal and external surveys, research, public advisory groups and other means to gather more information specific to our audience and our areas of focus. We have utilized that data to hone our organizational focus and have crafted our messaging to support that focus. We would always be interested in ways to more successfully bring those messages to life through engaging storytelling opportunities. Our funding sources require that we utilize and report through specific data collection systems. It is difficult to get any usable data back. None of the data collection systems coordinate with others so our organization has to in some cases use up to three separate data collection systems to comply with funding requirements and to collect our own data across many types of programs and funding sources. Our key challenge is the limited capacity on a statewide level to translate various sets of data (academic achievement, education finance, demographics) and the related stories into relevant community-level vignettes that portray the issues accurately and make them personal to the average Coloradan. An additional challenge is to utilize data and storytelling in a way that furthers our organization's mission and strategic goals. Our neighborhood is very difficult in many ways. People have been let down so many times, and they are no longer trusting of anybody who knocks on their door, hands them a newsletter or calls them. Too many nonprofits have come "parachuted" into the neighborhood, making big
  • 26. promises but never delivering on the promises. I believe the people of this community have stories they want to share, but they are unwilling to do it with people they don't know. The history of this neighborhood is being lost daily because our elders are now rapidly dying. Our organization does not fall easily into one of the predefined human service categories. For example, we fall somewhere between out-of-home cases and open cases. Therefore, we often have to make inferences when looking for a control group. We often use foster care statistics as well. Our organization is excellent at storytelling, but relies on this too much as times. Our organization is one of the partners that has created Colorado HealthStory, www.coloradohealthstory.org, and our challenges have been connecting with local partners to engage with residents to collect stories and creating meaningful ways for us to use the stories to engender better conversations about health in local communities. presenting data in a way that is intuitive, accurate, and insightful Prioritizing and clearing key indicators that demonstrate trends to tell the story and give an accurate, timely picture of our community Prioritizing data and having time/resources to create stories and try to get everyone to use Process to gather all the data and stories is not streamlined and is scattered across the university. Public Awareness, School District communications, mailing lists and marketing strategies, grant searching Putting it all together to make a compelling story for the counties of Adams and Weld. Putting the information together in a usable format Quality, quantity and determining the implications of the data to develop a narrative. Quantity of data Reach: we have a great story but need much more exposure and awareness of our programs. Reaching all the demographic and geographic groups. We tend to hear from only a limited portion of our community, over and over and over again. Refining the story, training staff to not focus on data, but stories Region too small for valid data; time and expertise in storytelling Resource data, compilation of data, opportunities for sharing local data Resources needed to deliver the storytelling in a high quality capacity. Resources to gain access and develop appropriate documents. resources/organization Single source for data; for storytelling, training our clients in public speaking skill in using the technology and the time to invest in the story. So many areas of data, state and local, we need one centralized place to gather data and keep data so we do not have to reinvent community surveys. Each group tends to have data gathering needs, and there is enough distinction in those needs that we tend to redo surveys and focus groups. However, having a centralized data center would help us look at what has been obtained and use what has been done. Then, we can create new surveys to gather specific data. We also have used Omni to help us analyze data. Small counties do not have the experts to help us look at data and how to organize surveys and interpret our results. We rely heavily on folks from Omni who have that expertise. Software!! We would love some sort of Efforts to Outcomes type of client tracking software for our organization AND community collaborations. In Adams County, the Adams County Youth
  • 27. Initiative and the Early Childhood Partners of Adams County include many willing partners who'd be willing to share data to track outcomes client to client, program to program and community-wide. As we implement a STRIVE cradle to career continuum we'd like to track how each child performs in Parents as Teachers with Growing Home, then how they do in preschool at Head Start, then how their kindergarten readiness stacks up, if they participate in after school programs, get a mentor, get help with food or rent or shelter with their family so that we can track all the touchpoints and their outcomes and develop a compelling longitudinal picture of our collective impact on closing the achievement gap. This would help us to tell the story of our impact, evaluate our impact and hold each other accountable to individual and shared outcomes and help us to identify and and more fully fund our most effective or critical interventions. Our community could get through data-sharing negotiations and agreements to help us achieve our shared goals. Such software would need to meet all the requirements of various partner programs and funders, but this is not insurmountable. It's already happening in several Promise Neighborhoods nationally and would enhance our collective impact. This would also allow for better customer service. Each case worker could access a full history and data related to their client to offer the most relevant supports, each family wouldn't have to complete the same intake paperwork at every organization they interact with and organizations could share ownership for the success of each child. sometimes challenging to gather data for small areas (city level and lower) Sometimes it is simply a matter of not having the right data for the story that needs to be told. That could be a matter of the data not existing, not having the expertise to evaluated the data, not having access to the data that would facilitate the analysis, or not having relevant data, ie, there is national but not state or county or zipcode. Sorry, this survey isn't exactly fit for us. We use data for internal purposes, but we are also a major provider of data. I'm unclear which side of our operations is being surveyed. For our data clients, digesting the data is the hardest part. Messaging and storytelling is only challenged by a lack of financial resources. SPREADING SKILLS AMONG OTHERS SO WORKLOAD DOES NOT FALL OR DEPEND UPON SMALL NUMBER staff capacity Staff capacity & Financial resources Staff time and designated individual who can keep current. We have plenty of stories a challenge is to ge it done. Staff time to devote to it. We cannot afford to hire a data analyst. Staff time to gather stories and data Staffing of technical people to pull information in a reliable manner Storytelling is not very well known as an instrument for success. strategies of exporting information Telling great stories but also doing good measurement The ability, on a consistent basis, to take neighborhood/community data and translate it into a compelling story. the appropriate use of the data and the stories and how to distribute it The challenge is the confidential information or privacy surrounding our population (children who have been abused or experienced trauma and neglect)
  • 28. The data we want to gather doesn't seem to exist / no challenges related to storytelling The demographics of our membership base. The enterprise GIS and permit information systems have taken years to develop and are only now becoming robust. 2. The bigger issue is reluctance on the part of the organization to widely share information perceived to reflect poorly on the community (e.g., income and education levels, graduation rates). That is slowly changing and we hope that not only will this information be broadcast but it will be reviewed periodically as a set of community indicators. The greatest challenge is connecting stories that are very qualitative in nature to data. For example, how do we make the case for safer bike routes when bike data is not nearly as robust as data on automobiles. The key challenge is probably incorporating local data into our program goals and planning and strategic planning. The local data is not an issue; however, the storytelling is. Because of our confidentiality requirements and our strong desire to protect clients (as well as not have them feel they "have to" tell their story to our constituents, we find storytelling (in the first person) difficult. We know that this will help our donors and the community engage in a stronger way. Overcoming this important barrier is difficult and has been discussed repeatedly over the years. The obvious: Bringing data alive through personal stories. Often key data points don't lend themselves to storytelling. The prolonged recession has put greater pressure on women with low incomes so 1) time is at a premium because many are now working 2 jobs to stay financially stable and have little or no time to participate in research or story telling and 2) many are presenting with more severe symptoms of depression and anxiety due to the stress of the recession so priority is given to offering mental health counseling services in these times, because many of the larger local mental health programs for low income individuals are overtaxed. We offer babysitting to address the child care barrier to holding focus groups, etc. and funding for this is tight right now. The right level of storytelling (personal; yet with sufficient data to make a case. Doing this online as well as in person. The storytelling is with donors, it is storytelling to the partners in the community. The time investment required for data collection and analysis THe time it takes to ask for and analyze the data. Once we have it it is easy to gather the story. The time it takes to gather and interpret data. The Whittier Neighborhood Association has been through and continues to go through constant change: being a volunteer group the membership changes, and the neighborhood has changed dramatically in the 25 years I've been a member. Many new members have no idea of even the most recent history, of the organization or the neighborhood. This is where storytelling could make a crucial difference, but we have no resources with which to coordinate that. There are almost no data collected for parents, household, early childhood education, etc. of children going to DPS. There is much conflicting data about veterans and places claim "best practices" that are not. There is so much data is is difficult to sort through it to access what is most relevant/useful to our purposes. We have the potential for generating a huge supply of stories. Getting them out where they can be useful, informative and purposeful is always a challenge.
  • 29. There's not much data available on the issues of victimization of people with disabilities. We rely on storytelling a lot. And use of our data that we collect in our service delivery. WE are so small that we do not dedicate much time/funding for this. Time Time Time and capacity to do the work. Time and human resources. Access to resources to tell stories. While important to our organization, it's not our primary mission, so it's hard to make the time to make this happen. Time and resources. Time constraints Time constraints in accessing local data. It takes time to locate the information you want, you might have to go through a number of sources before you find the information that is most applicable. Storytelling - again, the time factor. Additionally, getting our stories out to a wider audience. Time constraints in compiling/analyzing the data Time to put it all together TIme, resources and know how. Time, talent and $$$ to find, and develop in a format that works for us and community TIME! We aren't adequately resourced to be able to gather the data and community stories and/or to train our students to do this important part of our work. Timely data from state to help turn data into stories. / Here's an analogy. The folks who run Ann Taylor and the Loft retail boutiques have created a profile about a fictitious woman called Ann and say Maria. They know a lot of data about the customers at both stores. But it wasn't until they compiled that data into a profile of who the ideal shopper is for both stores, and gave her each a name, that they used Ann and Maria in making decisions - would Ann buy that? Would Maria wear this? / Wouldn't it be great if we could do that for education and healthcare users? too much data, not always knowing what data sets work best, not enough manpower (or money to pay them) Tracking data on demographic trends (age, income, # in household), housing trends (rental vs. ownership, for example) and how those trends tell a story of either a community in decline or on the rise. Training on good storytelling. Tying it together to create a compelling story without boring the reader with all the stats! unable to get the data to build the story Understanding how funding impacts issues on an aggregate basis. We still don't know if we are making a difference, without relying on anecdotal evidence. understanding how the paradigm has shifted--sometimes we don't believe what the data is telling us unknown unsure unsure Up to date data is hard for us to access; we are a very small agency that works with economically poor individuals who have (or are) experienced homelessness and work on
  • 30. environmental issues at the same time. The volume of information from a national or international level is often more available than the local information, at least to us. This may be because we do not have access to studies that may not be widely disseminated, or are not available to us online. up to date factual data relating to the populations we serve. Up to date numbers on communities and a clearly defined need within up to date data is not always available and no one is skilled at taking the stories, making them confidential and conveying the essence Using data to be predictive Various. We serve agencies that serve individuals so we don't always have direct access to the individuals for their demographics and have to rely on the agencies. We always need more funding to collect and report data and stories. We are a large institution; difficulties likely to vary by department, academic discipline and individual skills. We are a small organization and do not collect community data. We do collect and present data, tell stories, etc. about our own organization. We are a volunteer organization with a board made up of people with various skills, but none with a deep research background. Census reports are hard to drill down into so the Piton Foundation census data is the most helpful of all. There have been many times when getting current information and comparisons with the past on demographics, socioeconomic status, homeownership and other information would have really helped in making decisions and policies. Our neighborhood has a rich, multicultural history that is being lost as it gentrifies and the older residents move into assisted living or pass away. We have a couple of videographers in the neighborhood and people who have journalism backgrounds, but getting the time and financial resources to do a major project are limiting. These are rich stories that we will soon lose without an organized effort. We are excellent storytellers, but we lack the skills to collect and analyze data to help drive our storytelling. Because of the demands of our work, it's difficult to take the time to find and collect data, then know how best to analyze and present it. We need training or to have a brilliant data analyst on staff full time. We are just beginning to collect data and do data reporting. We are still locating and building data bases. Some data is easy to find and access, I know a lot more exists, but finding it and asking for it has been tricky. A lot of data is embedded in PDF files, making it difficult to extract. We are just developing a course on storytelling and narrative justice. How to merge theory and praxis is the biggest challenge, praxis meant to include local, community context of speaking and acting We are not a direct service organization and it is difficult to talk about the impact we have because we are one layer removed We are so data driven that we miss the storytelling piece. Personally I think it is valuable but it would be a culture shift. Data is all over the place...it would be nice to have it centrally located. We do not have the manpower to put together an effective newsletter on a regular basis to tell our story to the community. We don't have a key challenge per se but are always looking to improve. I just purchased the book The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human and we are working to improve how
  • 31. we communicate our research data and replication outcomes in local communities and statewide. We don't have easy, "go to" resources for the specific stuff we need, and even though the good folks at Piton or DPS are just a phone call away, it always feels like a burden to call and ask. On the storytelling front, it feels like we need some guidance on how to really do it well for a few times, and then with templates and tools and a general "storytelling mindset" we can probably take it from there. We don't make the time/resources for local data - it should be a larger priority than it is. Storytelling is a big priority and doesn't seem to be a challenge for the organization We don't really know much about it. We don't use much of either We feel we are pretty well informed. We have been using HMIS as a database and it is now impossible to get data from. Storytelling is limited by our business. We are generally overwhelmed with clients so the focus is on meeting their needs and not on meeting agency needs. we have lots of data - so converting that into interesting, compelling and meaningful "information" that is shareable. / taking TIME to turn all the great stories we have into something shareable. we need more localized data sets (hard to get). matching stories to data trends (what story do you tell and why). We need up-to-date information about specific social and health care issues. Not everything is current. We serve children in four of Denver's public housing neighborhoods. It's hard to get data for that demographic, e.g. our Lincoln Park site is usually included in reports about the Auraria-Lincoln Park neighborhood yet people in public housing present different issues and data then all the CU students. Also, as our children attend different schools it's very hard to get information about progress data and graduation rates. For storytelling, there is the conflict with privacy issues. We serve homeless youth which is an incredibly transient, under reported population. Often times, data about homelessness is collected on chronically homeless adults, families, and vets. The homeless youth population is frequently overlooked. Additionally, due to the nature of homelessness, it is difficult to get any good data on this population throughout the community in a consistent fashion. We struggle in making the story telling competing for a graphically inclined audience. Integrating graphic, photographic and video work into the arc is critical but requires both a budget and highly skilled professionals. We think personal stories are the best way to illustrate economic problems but we do not have a large database of people to draw from for these stories. We're OK on data collection and analysis as it relates to our planning. The storytelling challenge is to just take the time to interview our borrowers and their clients to document the impact we are having---with limited staff resources this always gets pushed to the back burner What and how many ways are there to do this? Where to go to gather the information, both data and storytelling.
  • 32. While we can access county-level data on important indicators from sources like the American Community Survey, drilling down to a finer level of detail is often difficult due to a lack of reliable community-level data.

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